Deputies from the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office said a 4-year-old boy accidently fired an unsecured handgun in a West Bath home Thursday morning.

The young boy’s stepfather, 24-year-old Stephen Ambrose, has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, according to WABI. The incident happened on New Meadows Road around 8 a.m. Thursday, September 16, 2021.

The gun was unsecured and left in the parent’s bedroom on a dresser, said investigators. Ambrose had left the room to get the gun’s holster and belt when the boy took the gun and fired a single shot. Officials said the bullet went through a wall and into the neighboring apartment where a tenant was home at the time. Deputies said no one was hurt.

Stephen Ambrose will have a court appearance on misdemeanor charges in January, 2022.

A similar incident happened in West Bath on New Meadows Road back in May of this year. A 2-year-old got a hold of a handgun on the nightstand and fired it. 

The mother and father were both wounded. The 22-year-old mom had a leg wound and the 25-year-old dad was hit in the head. The recoil of the handgun hit the 2-year-old in the face. Officials said the injuries were non life threatening. They were all taken to Mid Coast Hospital.

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Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry said, “The issue of adults leaving handguns unattended, in the presence of children is a serious problem. Parents have a responsibility to keep their children safe. If you are going to own a gun, be responsible. We encourage gun owners to secure their weapons with gunlocks or keep them in a safe location, away from children.” 

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